Posted on April 20, 2021 

If you would like to donate to Alfred’s Memorial Fund, please click here

We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.

This week, we would like to honor the story of Alfred Watts, shared by his grandson Travis, who is part of our ADAO family. 

We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone. 

“His Vocal Box Was Taken Away From Him” – Alfred’s Story

Name: Alfred Watts

Location: Louisiana

Year of Birth: 1944

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

Date of Diagnosis: 1994

Year of Death: 2001

How has asbestos changed your life? (Shared by his grandson, Travis, unedited)

My grandfather was the father of 13 and grandfather of many. He was known for being the most well known, jolliest person in Iberville Parish (County), Louisiana. He had worked 40 years for DOW Chemicals as a laborer before he found out he had throat cancer. His vocal box was taken away from him in the summer of 1994. For seven years, he went from the well known, jolliest person in Iberville Parish (County), Louisiana to the well known, saddest person in Iberville Parish (County), Louisiana. At the end of those seven years on October 31, 2001, he sadly died. I remember seeing the entire transition and it still bothers me. I got married in 2020 to my wife on the anniversary of his death. He was very close to me and I have great stories of him. I wish he could had lived to see at least one of my kids. He was robbed of it. Currently, I been an environmental/workforce/community activist for 15 years helping others mainly in Cancer Alley (between Baton Rouge and New Orleans) in Louisiana, so no one would have to go through what I went through. I also help people around the nation and all the world. This helps me with closure as well. Bittersweet, my grandfather won close to $4 Million dollars. However, he could not live to enjoy it and our family is still left grieving his death. I urge people to make sure they watch over their love ones and stand up in this world against corruption. My grandfather voice box was taken away, but I am now being his voice from his legacy. Thank you all who are fighting in this cause.